What Does Anyone Really Know?

The Z Man has a typically good column up today, about China. If his initial assumptions are right, he’s dead-bang on. But I wonder….

There is also the fact that China is smart. She can take the long view with Taiwan as she knows in a generation the American empire will be gone. Given the physical condition of the ruling class and the mental condition of the probable successors, the American empire will be out of Asia in a decade….

From the Chinese perspective, she has no reason to make any moves on Taiwan, as the puppet government in Washington is unlikely to stagger on much longer. Despite the claims by regime media, the world fully grasps the reality of the situation. The American regime is in deep crisis. The American empire is the sick man of the world right now and everyone is just waiting for the inevitable.

I’m not sure that’s true. There are two assumptions here — one about China, one about “the world” — and both of them are in need of qualification.

Z Man quotes Derb in his column, which reminds me of another Derb line from way back, something about if Japan and China are going to fight another war, they’re going to have to fight it on a shuffleboard court. China has a serious demographic problem. The disastrous one-child policy left a country with hugely skewed sex ratios, and all those lone boys are rapidly aging. That huge Chinese navy, that formidable land army, that big air force with its spiffy new stealth(ish) fighters… all of those will soon be staffed by geriatrics. It’s now or never for the Celestial Empire, if they think they’re going to have to do any actual fighting.

Nor does it help that Xi and the Gang’s go-to maneuver to take their slaves’ minds off things is to whip up nationalistic — which means, in practice, anti-American — sentiment. You can only rail at the Great Satan for long without actually doing something, especially if a key component of your nationalistic fervor is that huge navy, formidable land army, spiffy new air force, and so on. Y’all built that specifically to take on Uncle Sam, and all you’re going to do with it is saber-rattle? There are still a lot of guys in high places in the CCP who remember Lin Biao and Peng Dehuai; hell, the Chinese have the longest memory of any race, and the Warlords weren’t that long ago. The ruling junta can’t really trust their generals; the generals are always at least aware, in at least a vague theoretical way, of the soft spots on the politicians’ backs.

I dunno. I’m not a Sinologist. The North Koreans have managed to stagger on for most of a century now by constantly shaking their fist at the Great Satan… but doing nothing more than that, at least overtly. I wouldn’t bet on the Chinese going that route, though, especially once the totally legitimate, not at all fraudulent Biden regime gets around to pissing off Lil’ Kim, who is a major Chinese client.*

The second assumption is about what “the world” knows. Yeah, America’s the sick man, all right, but like Turkey — the original “sick man of Europe” — it’s hard to judge just how sick America actually is, and what to do about it. The Crimean War, for instance, wouldn’t have happened as it did, or perhaps at all, if everyone involved had been able to better gauge how sick the Ottoman Empire really was. See also: Gallipoli, and do you see what I mean? Even a terminally sick man thrashing around in his death throes can do a lot of damage…

…and that’s before you recall that Churchill, Lord Palmerston, and even Napoleon III and Nicholas I in their way, were serious, intelligent men. Compared to this crew, they’re bloody geniuses, and I’m not just talking about our totally legitimate, not at all fraudulent President, Joey Cabbage, may peace be upon him. Do you seriously want Angela Merkel at the helm in a real crisis? Boris Johnson? Emmanuel Macron?  Can you even name any of the goobers who run the European Union’s “defense” apparatus?

I didn’t pick the Crimean War on a whim. The neoklowns in Washington — who are of course the exact same fucking neoklowns who were there under Trump, and Obama, and Shrub, and Clinton, and so on and so on, world without end, because apparently diplomatic posts are lifelong here in the Senile Empire — are busy poking The Bear again, for no reason other than the one the scorpion gave the frog: It’s me nature, mate. And the various “defense” ministers of Europe — whoever they are — are letting them do it. If “the world” knows that the totally legitimate, not at all fraudulent Bidenreich is on the verge of collapse, they sure as hell aren’t acting like it.

But then again, how could they know? I’ve saved this for last, because it’s the scariest… y’all, I really think “the world” has been sniffing its own farts for so long, they believe their own hype. I certainly see no indication that the rest of “the world” thinks Joey Cabbage is anything other than what he obviously is — you know, totally legitimate and not at all fraudulent, and the very picture of mental heath, too. I know it seems hard to believe, but again, look at the USSR. In retrospect, the Soviet Union was the world’s sick man almost from the death of Stalin, and certainly from the death of Khrushchev, but nearly everybody missed it. Certainly all the experts missed it, which is why it came as such a big surprise to George HW Bush — that’s former CIA director GHW Bush, in case you’ve forgotten.

The new quasi-discipline I’m calling, for lack of a better term, “Bidenology” suffers from the same defects Kremlinology did back in the days — an almost totally reliance on SIGINT, including. by definition, the reports coming out of the State media. Which are all lies, of course, but what kind of lies? Lies of commission, or omission? Are they lies of detail, or are they big whopping category errors? Worse, our allies’ state Media organs are even worse than ours somehow — Rotten Chestnuts has lots of overseas readers, and y’all please do correct me if I’m wrong, but my overwhelming impression of European (Australian, New Zealand, etc.) Media is that they’re somehow further and harder in the tank for Joey Cabbage than even the AINO media. And worst, we don’t even have the occasional defector to help filter our SIGINT — the Cathedral, the Hive, the Big Top, call it what you will, they have excellent message discipline.

So what’s the truth? Beats my pair of jacks. Z Man concludes that the inevitable will happen sooner than later. I tend to agree, but I’m not so sure, because sick men sometimes do recover. Not all the way, of course, but enough to stagger off their sickbeds for a few more years, decades, even centuries — there’s a school of Roman historiography, led by guys like Peter Heather, who argue that Rome could’ve stumbled on more or less indefinitely had it not been for an extraordinary confluence of circumstances. I guess we’ll see…


*As Z Man himself noted, most if not all of what Leftists have done for the past three decades has been avenging old slights. Obamacare, whatever the hell that “reset” with the Russians was supposed to be, the appointment of fossils like Merrick Garland to high places… all those only make sense as revenge. (Garland was supposed to be the next Supreme Court justice under Al Gore, for example). Trump had a big splashy meeting with Lil’ Kim, in which both men acted at least approximately like sane, responsible world leaders; therefore, the Biden Administration will be picking a stupid, pointless fight with him sometime soon.

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18 thoughts on “What Does Anyone Really Know?

  1. Avatartexinole

    I read his column and came away with the same question – can China weather their own demographic bomb? Like the day you are old enough to realize your dad is just another dumbass (just like you) the last few years have been a slow terrifying realization that nobody knows what the fuck they’re doing. Even the Bond villains pulling the real strings of power seem to only be living for the moment, not really caring that nobody will be willing or able to service their children’s megayachts.

    1. SeverianSeverian Post author

      There it is. All historical analogies have broken down. The ant and the grasshopper, the frog and the scorpion, pick your Aesop — it seems like everyone with any power anywhere has decided to throw their hands up and yell “fuck it, let’s party!”

      It’s tempting to project rationality, or a sense of purpose, or even just “not being stoopid” onto guys like Xi and Putin, but it’s probably a mistake. Oh, sure, those guys are smart enough, and I’d surely take them over any Western “leader” if it comes down to making choices that will save the human race… but for all that they’re still Chinese and Russian, respectively, and anyone who knows their history knows that China and Russia have been, simultaneously, poised to take over the world AND on the brink of collapse for as long as they’ve been coherent political entities. It’s like they say about Brazil — it’s the superpower of the future, and always will be.

      Did you ever see the movie Downfall, the source of all those “Hitler finds out about” memes? Looking around the world today — West AND East — I can’t help but thinking of the scenes outside the bunker. Half the staff is busy partying. They should be making escape plans, but instead they’re just going to live it up now, because why not? Goebbels, meanwhile, has decided that a world without National Socialism isn’t worth living in, so he’s coldly making plans to poison his children (and their pets!) before he and Magda commit suicide. Then there are the security forces in the last few remaining blocks of Berlin, hauling starving, shivering civilians out of the rubble and hanging them from lampposts for “Defeatism.” The army, meanwhile, fights on, even though they’re down to adolescent girls, because they alone have the brains to know what the Russians are going to do to them when they’re finally forced to surrender.

      It’s all just so surreal… and yet, here we are.

      1. AvatarJoseph Moore

        I’m reminded of an incident around 408, where the incompetent Western emperor Honorius had inherited the advisor Olympius, a shrewd and sociopathic (I mean, more than usual, for the times) man. Olympius (so one account runs) managed, finally, to get his nemesis Stilicho, who was the Master General of the Legions and had kept some semblance of order in Italy, pressed on the outside by the usual array of barbarians and from the inside by the usual array of schemers.

        So it goes. Nothing unusual there. Once Stilicho was out of the way, however, the families of the Visigoths living in Italy were slaughtered by – Romans who thought that was good idea? The Visigoths had been more or less loyal to Rome for generations, and had fought and died to defend the Empire more than once. There were about 30,000 Visigoth foederati at arms in Italy – whose families had just been murdered. So 30,000 understandably furious Visigoth soldiers already in Italy flock to Alaric for protection and revenge. Rome gets sacked.

        It takes a year or two to play out, then Olympius, in turn, gets executed. Things did not get better, once Stilicho, the one guy with any hope of controlling the Legions, was eliminated.

        How was this supposed to work out, in the eyes of Olympius’ team and the Romans who murdered the Visigoth women and children living in Italy? Was there a plan, or an expectation? It doesn’t seem so – just a bunch of crazy, blood-thirsty humans getting their revenge, to hell with the consequences.

  2. AvatarDeuce

    Sev, your last paragraph sums up rather succinctly what may be indicators for the upcoming chaos.
    The person or persons who are running the show now in the USA have a long memory and a very thin skin.
    Not only Lil’ Kim but any other leaders who were actual buds with Big Don will be punished or worse.
    The ones that come to mind are Saudi Arabia, possibly Japan, and maybe Israel depending on who calls the shots there at the moment.
    Putin is on the short list because he displayed a mutual respect for President Trump.
    All of the rest of the so-called allies were rather quick with the dagger and happy to see Trump pushed out.

    You are absolutely correct about Europe. The photo of the defense ministers (nasty women) of Europe will turn any man’s stomach!

    Trump surely deserves much more credit than he is given just for standing up to Europe as well as the rest of the world.

  3. AvatarWOPR

    I’ll go with everyone has plans that will, in the end, wreck themselves as much as their opponents. It will be WWI – Better Weapons and Worse Leadership. America is the party girl with daddy issues. She remembers every slight, does the same thing over and over, and this dude she’s banging now is the one. Europe is the old geezer who has decided to leave his inheritance the foreign nurse because he hates the few kids he actually could be bothered to have. Russia is still Russia, the vodka drinking lush. China is the 30 something who conned his way to the top and is busy making enemies of everyone. The Middle East will grind on the way it always has. India and Brazil are the same. Massively diverse countries which makes holding them together a full time job. Basically, they are the trailer trash families. Sure they have a few smart members. The rest of the family keeps them from accomplishing much. Africa will continue to be ignored.

    NK only stumbles along because China props them up. Take that away and they would have collapsed decades ago.

  4. AvatarWildgoose

    The Chinese demographic timebomb isn’t as bad as it is being painted.

    First, the “One Child” policy (now abandoned) only applied in the Cities. It was “Two children” everywhere else.

    Second, it was widely ignored. Families had an “official” child and often an “unofficial” (unregistered) child as well, especially if the firstborn was female. They have been making moves to finally register these children, but they have largely been kept out of Education and other official areas of “official” visibility.

    The only areas in which “One Child” was rigorously enforced were border areas such as Tibet.

    China is in a better demographic shape than Japan, or especially South Korea. And given their enormous population advantage to start with, in a better position than most of South East Asia.

  5. AvatarWildgoose

    Typing while eating my tea. Sorry. That sentence was supposed to end: ‘but they have largely been kept out of Education and other areas of “official” visibility.’

    Corruption is the norm over there. You just bribe the official to look the other way.

  6. AvatarMaus

    The hedgehog knows one big thing. The Zen-like slap of insight that the Dissident Right bestowed on me is that demography is the key to everything. China races to senectitude because of their one-child policy, but they haven’t lost sight of their national identity as the Celestials of the Middle Kingdom. We, because of our egalitarian and altruistic impulses, have embraced enstupidation through mongrelization. I don’t know what China will do; but it’s a fair bet that we’ll continue to buy their consumer crap, invite their capital to buy up our patrimony, educate their brightest grad students at our universities, and, when the time comes, give them the scalpel with which to harvest our organs. The sad fact is that you can’t fix stupid. It may seem defeatist, but I am taking a page from Cicero and retiring to my garden to escape the eye of Sauron for as long as possible yet with the knowledge and expectation that the wokerati will eventually come with a bloody sword for my hands and tongue. Fighting chaos is a young man’s game, and I am too damn old for it.

  7. Avatarcontrariandutchman

    There are likely some serious people who do have a suspicion that the Empire will fall, and lose control of the Outer Satrapies first. Over in Frogland there seems to be some fairly serious talk, in public, of what to do as the Empire loses control. And the kobold-prince of Frogland is openly defying the official religion of the Empire. He does that to placate voters and grumbling generals no doubt, not out of any conviction, yet he does it.

    In my particular corner of course the local excuse for a ruling caste is firmly of the opinion that the health of the Empire is fully restored now that the Orange Menace has been driven out. Talk is of an easy war against Bearland to bring them the joys of tranny reading hour and avenge the slights to the Empire they gave by bringing the Orange Menace to power by spending no less then $100k on Faceberg ads.

    1. SeverianSeverian Post author

      Admittedly there are LOTS of problems with the Chinese stats, starting with “they’re a bunch of dirty Commies, and Commies always lie.” But it seems to be broadly the case that China has a lot of rapidly aging smart people concentrated in their (unbelievably dirty, unimaginably corrupt) coastal cities, and lots of poor, low-IQ peasants in the hinterland… who may or may not be reproducing, but probably aren’t, since China has always had problems feeding her population, even when her governments were mostly sane(-ish), unlike now.

      As with the Bidenreich, I assume that everything they say is right is wrong, and everything they admit is a slight problem is a looming catastrophe. They admit their demographics are a slight problem, so…. best I can do, under the circumstances.

      1. Avatarcontrariandutchman

        I recall distinctly that Chinese tfr was listed as 1.1 not long ago, and the 1.7 official number seems to be an “estimate” from some Chinese university. This article lists the issues: https://nationalinterest.org/feature/coming-demographic-collapse-china-180960

        To compound the matter, Han tfr is reputedly much lower then of the various minorities, who will not remain minorities as a consequence.

        Its likely comrade Winnie the Pooh knows he has a limited window of opportunity to make China’s mar as a great power before demographic problems become too much of a distraction.

  8. AvatarBrit in London

    Over here our “right wing” media (not that it really exists) takes all their US info from the NYT. Our left wing media then goes even more stupid. One of my (many) illuminating moments on this path to/through “our thing” was when I decided to go and directly hear from the American right myself, rather than third hand tales with four degrees of spin. (Around the time of 2008 when the media went from 100% vilification of Bush to 100% deification of Obama despite nothing material changing – that was creepy as hell. Incidentally my fiancée flicked on Michelle Obama’s thing on Netflix. We heard her decry all the “relentless horrible attacks from the media against the Obama administration” and had to turn it off. We’ve reached levels of gaslighting never before foreseen)

    1. SeverianSeverian Post author

      It WAS amazing, wasn’t it? I was in academia at the time, and the school-of-fish effect was jaw-dropping. I was there, and I still can’t believe it really happened. A LOT of people in College Town must’ve crept out in the literal dead of night to take down those “support the troops, end the war” signs that festooned their lawns throughout the Bush years. I almost felt sorry for the three or four groovy fossilized hippies who really were peaceniks. They kept showing up to their “no war for oil” rallies, but suddenly they were the only ones. Silly hippies.

      I confess a sort of secret… admiration is the wrong word, but I can’t think of the right one, when it comes to Michelle Obama. What is one supposed to feel towards canaries in coal mines? They’re just doing their job, and they don’t even know they’re doing it, and yet somehow one is grateful to them… Anyway, that’s how I feel about Moo-chelle. She was the canary in the coal mine re: The Basic College Girl. Want to know what the BCG is like if you haven’t been around one? Chiquita Khrushchev is the most prominent recent example, but Moo-chelle was doing all that twenty years ago. Anything less than cringing, boot-licking, servile praise, sufficient to make an Ottoman Pasha blush, is interpreted as horrible, vicious criticism. Standardized tests, grade inflation, and of course affirmative action have combined to produce a mental world which is totally binary — A or F, completely perfect or abject failure. “Good start, needs improvement” doesn’t compute, because anything Snowflake deigns to do is by definition perfect, because she deigns to do it.

  9. AvatarMBlanc46

    Solid points all, but, as your title indicates, does anyone really know? My guess is that the Chinese are just as happy to let the ripe fruit fall into their hands. The time will come when the Taiwanese will come hat in hand begging to be absorbed into the PRC. And unless the Japs are ready to nuke up and fight to the death (the latter being something that they once did very well), they will have to settle for being a satrapy of China. One thing that unsettles my analysis is Comrade Xi Jinping. Is his secret desire to be the emperor to go down in history as the one who reunited China? If yes, even I might live long enough to see the Big One. As far as our Sickness goes, it seems to me that not only is it terminal, it’s time to call the hospice folks. Those who run all the principal institutions of society are carpet-chewing mad. And even if the guys carrying the rifles are willing and able to stand up and fight, the folks giving the orders now are lesbians, Negroes, and men who say that they think they are really women. So far as the nukes go, has anyone (who is actually capable of doing so) tested those things in the past, say, thirty years? The world (Europe and the European diaspora)? Their leaders are all as bull goose loony as ours are, maybe more so. Then again, I don’t really know, and don’t claim to know.

  10. AvatarRecusant

    The Chinese are strategic, long-term thinkers? And I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

    Your average meth-head has more going on strategically than the Chinese. As for long-term thinking, I don’t think they possess a logogram for that.

    Brit in London is essentially correct about the view from here, although the NYT has become a bit of a standing joke for its coverage of the UK, but Biden is given a pass. Generally, the view is that American politics has become warp-speed crazy.

    The French are busily trying to prevent themselves “getting infected by the American disease of wokeness”; which is amusing, seeing as how it was Frenchmen – Foucault, Marcuse, Derrida, et al – who invented all the po-mo crap that it spawned in.

  11. AvatarP_Ang

    So with my busy schedule at “I H8 Whitey” bank, I always seem to be a Paulie-come-lately to these discussions, but I have a couple pennies to toss to the waters.

    1.) The left-wing Associated Press shares (or rather, parrots) “news” among the US and provides the vast majority of US news outside of the US. Large outside agencies typically do not have newscenters inside the US and watch US wire transfer services, ie almost entirely AP transfers, which they then transmit from their own distribution centers, “trading” valuable information in the knowledge that they will be repaid in kind.

    2.) I found it rather amazing that one of the zombie lefty sites I still follow purely for entertainment recently posted a UK poll done by Blaze TV asking the UK public what celebrity or politician they would trust to save them from an alien invasion. The first politician was ex-president DJT at 7th place on the list. Winner Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted his acceptance speech for the top position on March 18th of this year. Much mockery was made on the lefty site of the fact that the Donald “scraped by” at 7th place. Of course, following the links OUTSIDE the US led to the actual poll which showed he beat UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (12th) by 5 places, and *President Joseph Stolin, may he sleep for a thousand years, by 13 spots (20th).

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